At this time next year, a million or so Minnesotans will be sitting down at computers to shop for health insurance on a new state website. Officials designing the new health insurance exchange tell Forum Communications using it will be a little like planning a trip on Travelocity or buying a book through Amazon.
About twenty percent of Minnesotans are expected to use the exchange. Designers say it will give consumers more choices in an easier-to-understand format. Seventeen states are in the process of developing exchanges, which are the cornerstone of the health insurance legislation that was championed by President Obama. Few states are as far along as Minnesota in developing the sites.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is an ardent critic of the health care law and that state is not developing an insurance exchange, leaving it to the federal government to develop Wisconsin's exchange.
Here's how Minnesota officials describe the insurance exchange to consumers.